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Libby man sentenced for bomb

| April 18, 2007 12:00 AM

A Libby man will serve three years in prison for planting a pipe bomb at the U.S. Forest Service office in Troy.

Chief U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy in Missoula last week sentenced Stephen Neil Young, 56, who pled guilty to possession of an unregistered destructive device.

On June 1, 2006, a pipe bomb was discovered in the parking lot of the Three Rivers Forest Service Ranger Station. A seasonal employee was moving vehicles to program their radios.

When the employee attempted to move a pickup assigned to Young, whose driving privileges were suspended, Young requested the keys and offered to start the vehicle for her. The employee found Young cleaning out the vehicle. Young directed her to move the vehicle, and she moved it to a different area of the parking lot.

Later on that morning, Young told a Forest Service law enforcement officer about a suspicious item in the parking lot. The officer responded, and Young told the officer the item was a pipe bomb. It was laying on the ground in the parking space that had been occupied by Young's truck before it was moved. The Missoula County Bomb Squad and Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms determined the device was a functioning bomb likely made from a low-explosive smokeless powder.

Young's vehicle was also examined. On the "Y" pipe of the vehicle's exhaust system, officers discovered three pieces of black electrical tape.

During a June 1 interview, Young described finding the bomb and its appearance, and admitted he had been a certified blaster with the Forest Service. He also suggested several people who may have planted the bomb.

During a second interview on June 2, Young admitted to assembling the bomb and placing it on his Forest Service vehicle.

"The successful resolution of this case is a tribute to the strong working relationships between all the law enforcement agencies in Montana," said ATF Resident Agent in Charge Cheryl R. Glenn. "This was a joint investigation where the federal, state and county levels all worked together. Their first priority was to protect the public from the danger of a live bomb. They then moved on to identify the suspect and collect the best evidence available."

"This case was a success not just in that the suspect was found and convicted, but because the Missoula County Bomb Squad was successful in rendering safe the device without an injury or death occurring" Glenn continued.